National Burger Day: Are vegan burgers better? We did a taste test to find out

A vegan and a non-vegan battle it out

Olivia Petter,Rachel Hosie
Thursday 23 August 2018 12:56
Comments
What is the best vegan burger?

Today is National Burger Day, where carnivores gorge on meaty patties topped with bacon, mayo and even deep-fried mac and cheese.

But with veganism on the rise, what about our plant-based friends? Why should they have to miss out on all the fun?

As increasing numbers of people make an effort to cut down their meat consumption (if not go fully vegan), more and more restaurants are offering plant-based burgers on their menus.

For years, vegan burgers consisted of dry, crumbly, lentil-based patties that were, well, just a bit sad.

But that’s now changing, as scientists, engineers, chefs, farmers and foodies work together to create sustainably produced plant-based burgers that are actually delicious - some of which really do resemble meat too.

Olivia and Rachel tucking into the vegan burgers

The question is: are vegan burgers really as tasty, satiating and comforting as a big, juicy beef burger? And which of the new offerings on the scene is the best?

As a lentil-loving vegan (Olivia) and a meat-eating burger addict (Rachel), we decided to put four of London’s hottest vegan burgers to the test.

Wulf and Lamb

The Wulf Burger, £14.95

Olivia

The patty resembled the appearance of meat, but not the texture. Dark in shade but gooey in consistency, I’m not sure this burger is one for those looking for an exact replica of its beefy counterpart. But with all of the usual trimmings - mayo, cheese, pickle - it’s a pretty substantial plant-based alternative and it tasted great, though mushroom was definitely the predominant flavour. 7/10

Rachel

I have to hand it to this burger - it certainly looks the part. The brioche bun was great, but the vegan versions of the other components left a little to be desired. The cashew aioli wasn't as creamy as mayo (it was more like a paste), the cheese was rather plasticky and the burger was too mushy and mushroomy. That said, when you stop comparing everything to the animal-based equivalents, it’s an entirely tasty burger, with a pleasing umami undertone to the patty. 6/10

Patty & Bun

 Whoopigoldburger, £8.50

Olivia

This burger confused me. Covered in panko breadcrumbs, the patty looked like it had got lost on its way out of a fish and chip shop. The cheese was also suspiciously cheese-like: sticky and stringy, far from the usual plasticine-like alternative that vegan cheese-lovers have become accustomed to. Also, it was intimidatingly large and rather greasy; if I wanted fast food, I would’ve gone to McDonald’s. 4/10

Rachel

I adore Patty & Bun’s meaty burgers so was intrigued to try their vegan offering. The burger in itself wasn’t unpleasant, but it clearly wasn’t meant to resemble meat. If you’re after something comfortingly greasy, this burger may hit the spot - it feels just a little bit dirty, as all burgers should. I was a bit disappointed at how the mushroom patty (why is it always mushroom?) completely fell apart once you bite through the crisp coating. Hats off to the vegan cheese though. 6/10

Maxwell’s

Moving Mountains Vegan Bacon and Cheese Burger, £14.95

Olivia

No item of food has surprised me quite so pleasantly. Though a bit sad-looking - the cheese hadn’t melted and the lettuce was a pallid shade of green - this was by far the best burger in terms of pseudo-meaty flavour and texture. I wouldn’t swipe right for it on a dating app, but there’s more to it than meets the eye. A solid effort. 8/10

Rachel

This burger looked completely tragic - a good burger should be oozing with melted cheese, sauces and meat juices, and the Moving Mountains vegan offering was lacking in all these departments. However, the patty was closest to meat in both taste and texture - there’s a richness to the flavour which made it a very satisfying eat. 8/10

By Chloe

The Guac Burger, £9

Olivia

Something went wrong here. The patty was a garish orange hue and tasted like a mashed, mildly-spiced, carrot. There was absolutely nothing meaty about it. 3/10

Rachel

Oh dear. This patty was thin, dry and rather uninspiring. There was too much bread for the amount of ‘burger’ and the spiced flavour wasn’t anything like meat. That said, it wasn’t bad. It was just meh. 4/10

The result

The winner is: Moving Mountains. It was the most like meat on every level, despite looking incredibly sad.

Highly commended goes to Wulf and Lamb, whose burger was also a delicious eat.

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